New Year Resolutions: S.M.A.R.T. Goals for the New Year

I'm not usually big on New Year Resolutions. January 1st, I always seem to set myself unrealistic goals that I end up giving up on before I even flip the calendar to February.

Mental health researchers from Mind Institute agree with me this year. "New Year's resolutions can sometimes focus on our problems or insecurities such as being overweight, feeling unhappy in our jobs or feeling guilty about not devoting enough time to friends and family throughout the year," said Mind chief executive Paul Farmer.

"We chastise ourselves for our perceived shortcomings and set unrealistic goals to change our behavior, so it's not surprising that when we fail to keep resolutions, we end up feeling worse than when we started.

"Instead of making a New Year's resolution, think positively about the year to come and what you can achieve."

Take last year for example:

I was feeling guilty that I was more than 3 years behind on our family scrapbooks and that I hadn't even started my niece's baby book (and she had just turned 5!).

My scrapbook New Year Resolution last year was:

I am going to get completely caught up by the end of the year.

Both my kids' books would be current and my niece's book would be finished. Sure enough, by February I realized there was no way I was going to be able to scrap 3+ years in 3 different albums, so I gave up.

Making S.M.A.R.T. Resolutions

Applying goal-setting techniques popular in the business world has helped me create New Year Resolutions that help me think positively about the coming year and what I can realistically achieve. This year, I won't be throwing random resolutions into the void hoping that they will somehow be met. This year, my goals will be S.M.A.R.T:




Realistic, and


For example, one of my Scrapbooking New Year Resolutions this year is:

I will write in my scrapbook journal once a week for the next year.

I have a dedicated scrapbook journal that I use to keep track of layout ideas, pictures I want to take, cute things my kids say, favorite quotes, etc. It is a great tool for helping me beat scrapper's block - those moments I just sit and stare at a blank desk not sure what to do next. The journal got a lot of use first few months after I started it, but has been collecting dust for the past year. Let's see how S.M.A.R.T. this goal is:

Specific: I will write in my scrapbook journal.

Measurable: I will journal once a week.

Attainable: It will be challenging to find time, but once a week is more attainable than, say, every day.

Realistic: Writing in my journal isn't difficult, it is filled with prompts and I am always thinking of ideas...I just don't always take the time to write them down!

Timely: There is a timeframe (one year) after which I'll be able to see if I was able to accomplish this goal.

Compare this S.M.A.R.T. goal with my New Year Resolution from last year:

I will get caught up on all my scrapbooking.

Specific: Very vague goal - which scrapbooks? How many pages? From what year to what year?

Measurable: No way to measure what it means to be "caught up."

Attainable: 3+ years of pictures scrapbooked in 1 year? Not unless I plan to never leave my scrapbook desk!

Realistic: I have two young children and a full-time job: When did I think I was going to have the time to do all this?

Timely: By when? There is no stated ending point for this goal.

More S.M.A.R.T. New Year Resolutions

Here are a few other Scrapbooking New Year Resolutions to get you thinking about setting your own goals for 2009. Happy Scrapping this year!

  1. I will journal on every layout I create this year.
  2. I will learn 2 new techniques and incorporate them into layouts this year.
  3. I will join a fun online scrapbook community and participate at least once a week for the year.
  4. scrapbooking new year resolution

  5. I will complete my niece's baby scrapbook before her 6th birthday.
  6. I will create a layout of my Scrapbooking New Year Resolutions by the end of January so that I can track my progress
  7. I will complete at least one layout each month this year that uses up old supplies - no buying anything new!
  8. I will subscribe to a scrapbook magazine and read it!
  9. I will clean/organize clean and organize my scrap space after every layout I complete.

What will your Scrapbook New Year Resolutions be this year?

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